Dog collar 2
Church of England

Vicars warned not to wear dog collars in public for fear of Islamist attack

 

Vicars don’t need to say, “Hello, I’m the vicar.” Their dog collars make voiceless introduction: they are an emblem of office; an indication of vocation and service. They are woven into the Christian fabric of our public life, as commonplace as dog-walkers and chocolate-box village churches. So to read that vicars are being advised not to wear a dog collar in public because it makes them an easy target for Islamists is disheartening, to say the least.

The Mirror reports that “knifemen will target Western church for their next attack“, and about half-way down we read:

A vicar, who declined to be named, told Mirror Online they have been warned by church diocese officials not to wear their dog collars in public because it marks them out as a potential target. He claimed they have also been warned to avoid being in churches on their own.

We are not told which officials in which diocese have issued this warning, but it is advice which needs to be ignored. To heed such guidance is to surrender to fanatical Islamists; to conceal one’s Christian faith out of fear of the consequences; to hide one’s light under a bushel in order not to provoke some hot-headed Muslim extremist to combat.

Easy for someone to say who’s not in danger of being a target, you may say. But what have we become if we relinquish the vestments of our national faith out of fear of the adherents of another religion? What is ceded? Who is appeased? Where is the victor and who is the vanquished?

It is wise and helpful for security experts to issue ‘Counter Terrorism Advice for Churches’. But vicars don’t work 9.00-5.00: it’s a 24/7 job (maybe Mondays off, if you’re lucky). They are supposed to be identifiable when they are not in church because they are always at work and forever on duty (even when they’re not). By all means install CCTV and “be alert for attackers, who are likely to be armed with knives”, but, for God’s sake, don’t let the Islamic State force you to conceal the marks of your Christian faith. No, you must make every effort to preach truth, in season and out; you must symbolise the blessings of salvation when you can; you should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints (Jude 1:3). Defend the truth vigorously. Walk by faith continuously. Guard the treasure. Be bold for Christ.

The diocese which advises otherwise has already surrendered.

  • The Explorer

    I suppose the next suggestion will be removal of crosses from churches, and removal of noticeboards giving names and times of services.

    • dannybhoy

      Oh well, back to meeting in secret..

      • The Explorer

        It might yet come to that: if not from the Muslims then from Eustace-style secularists.

    • Commentator

      As, in fact, many synagogues in Europe (incl UK) have been having to do for years now. Plus instituting serious security measures at Jewish schools and synagogues.

      • The Explorer

        As I understand it, churches in strict Muslim countries like Saudi are not allowed to display an external cross.

        • James Bolivar DiGriz

          I may be wrong but I thought that churches (as in the buildings) were not permitted in Saudi Arabia. I also thought that bringiing in a Bible, even for personal use, was an offence.

          • The Explorer

            You’re right. It’s all rather confusing. I recall something about no new churches allowed to be built in Saudi after 1918, but then existing churches were banned as well. The Grand Mufti called in 2015 for the demolition of all churches in the Arabian peninsula, but by then there were none in existence anyway. I was probably conflating it with the Pact of Umar whereby no new churches could be built, and existing ones could not be repaired or display a cross.

      • Uncle Brian

        Not only in Europe. Here in Brazil too.

  • IanCad

    We’ve pretty much submitted to the Homo and Diversity warriors. They don’t carry knives.
    Dog collars off now!!
    –earnestly contend for the faith”? Can’t do that – it may offend.

  • dannybhoy

    Is this somehow linked to this…?

    “But speaking at a reception for leaders of other faiths in the garden of Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop insisted Christians should not actively “proselytise” non-Christians.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/21/dont-speak-about-your-faith-unless-youre-asked-to-says-archbisho/

    Ostensibly it would be a sensible move in view of the poor French priest callously murdered in his church, but may it also be linked to the Anglican hierarchy’s continued ‘dhimmification’?
    When the official Church of the nation starts telling its flocks to essentially avoid upsetting other people by sharing the Gospel unless invited, and warning its clergy about wearing clothing that others might be so offended by that they will kill; what on earth has happened to our freedoms, and just who is calling the shots in our society?

    • Old Nick

      Surely what His Grace meant was that to be effective proselytizing needs timing, otherwise it puts people’s backs up, hardens hearts and fails to open the way for the Spirit. As in “preach the Gospel, sometimes use words”. Are you determined to misunderstand the Archbishop ?

      • dannybhoy

        I don’t think that washes. When I came to the Lord through an Anglican curate, the church was teaching the need for evangelism. Masses of literature was written about how to share the faith.
        When’s the right time anyway?
        2 Timothy 4>
        “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at[a] His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

        • Old Nick

          I simply meant that you might think that he meant that. But I guess Puritans are uniquely equipped to understand the meaning behind Scripture unlike the rest of us who simply live by faith.

          • dannybhoy

            Sorry but I don’t know what that means. We only know what true faith is by understanding the Scriptures.

          • Old Nick

            You understand it your way then, but do not tell the rest of us that yours is the only way of understanding it.

  • sarky

    How is it any different from the police or army being told not to wear their uniform when out and about??

    Makes sense to me. Can’t see that a dog collar is worth dying for.

    • Dick Hughes

      I suppose your comment is just to provocative.

      • Inspector General

        sarky thing is Cranmer’s court fool. Just as we are getting all pompous in comes sarky to sit on Cranmer’s knee and belittle. Long may sarky act the arse, and long may we kick his impudent buttocks…

      • dannybhoy

        Sarky makes provocative statements safe in the knowledge he’s addressing Christians…

        • sarky

          I’ve said nothing provocative. How is saying you should heed advice to stay safe provocative????
          If I was been provocative I’d tell vicars to wear flashing dog collars and cassock s with large glittery crosses on them just to make sure they’re seen.

    • IanCad

      My Goodness Sarky!!
      So you are saying it is good to surrender when faced with intimidation? Shall we pay kidnappers also?

      • sarky

        Like it or not Islamic extremism is with us at the moment. Why paint a target on your back??
        I see this as a temporary precaution that any sane person would take.
        If you think its ok for your clergy to put themselves in danger, fine, but don’t then profess outrage if something happens.

        • IanCad

          Once they tumble to the fact that we natives will abandon our varied vocational garbs at the mere threat of mayhem then it will encourage them further.
          It is never a good idea to run from your opponent unless you are leading him to defeat. That happy state is not on the horizon.

        • carl jacobs

          And yet … If an Islamist attacked a Gay Night Club, would you say “Well, what did you make yourselves a target for? Don’t profess outrage if it happens.” You were more revealing in the original comment:

          Can’t see that a dog collar is worth dying for.

          By which you mean “Religion isn’t worth dying for.” Of course you would think that. Religion is to be hidden, isn’t it.

          A very Inspector-esque comment from you, sarky. Disappointing.

          • sarky

            No Carl, I literally meant an item of clothing is not worth dying for.
            Your interpretation says more about you.

          • magnolia

            And how about if they target women wearing swimming clothes on the beach. Would you then say “western swimming gear is not worth dying for? Burkinis all round, ladies.”

            You see there is no end to this, potentially.

            “They came for those in dog collars and I was not clergy so I wasn’t bothered, then they came for the cross wearers but I was not a Christian, then for the turban wearers, but I wasn’t Sikh, then for the saffron robes, but I wasn’t a Buddhist monk, then for the ladies in shorts or Western swimwear on the beaches, but I wasn’t a woman, then for those in jeans…oh whoops, there weren’t many left…..”

          • sarky

            Don’t be so stupid. If there is intelligence that clergy are being deliberately targeted, then only a fool would not heed their warnings.
            Would you say the same to the army or police who have been given exactly the same advice?

          • magnolia

            That sort of person sees the retreat, rejoices in it, and goes for more. They don’t think like you do. Did no one ever teach you about Danegeld? You have to stand up and say “No. No more” firmly, clearly, politely, and decisively, or you just get yourself into further and further trouble.This kind of extremist doesn’t respect the moderation and compromise many of us take as a normal part of life.They interpret it as victory and as your weakness, a weakness that can be productively pushed further.

          • sarky

            And in the mean time people get brutally murdered for the sake of a uniform.

          • dannybhoy

            No, for the sake of their faith. Kinda different.

          • sarky

            So a murdered vicar is worth more than murdered army/police?

          • dannybhoy

            No, Sarky. You don’t get it. We are a nation. In our various ways we contribute to the life of our nation. At the lowest level through taxation, at the highest by giving of our time and resources in clubs, food banks, help services and of course by being willing to lay our lives on the line for our country. You can’t split it up into sections of self interest.
            As Dave Cameron said, “We’re all in it together”, and Danny would add,
            “Whether we like it or not!”

          • Old Nick

            Actually it was the foxhunters they came for first, but fortunately country folk are pretty robust sorts.

          • dannybhoy

            Symbolism Sarky, symbolism. What does the dog collar stand for?
            Not just a vicar, but a whole way of life and set of values.
            Why are some Muslims so keen to retain the burqa or the hijab for their women?
            Symbolism Sarky, symbolism. A sign of subjugation.

          • sarky

            Fine. But don’t say you weren’t warned.

          • carl jacobs

            You as much as said that if someone makes himself a target and gets killed, it’s his own fault. I suppose you would make that same argument about a woman who dresses provocatively and gets raped. At least you would make that argument if you wanted to be consistent.

            And, no, the intelligence doesn’t matter. This threat isn’t going to go away.

          • sarky

            It’s not his fault at all. But why dismiss advice if given?

          • carl jacobs

            You are the one who said …

            but don’t then profess outrage if something happens.

            There isn’t any way to misinterpret that statement. An inability to profess outrage is a direct result of being responsible.

            Your words.

          • sarky

            Carl, it’s frustration at stubbornness that could lead to unnecessary death.

          • carl jacobs

            I believe that because I perceive your comment to be so far out of character. To me, it’s a prudential judgment. My wife never wore her uniform on a commercial plane when she traveled. She was advised not to do so. But there are times when a military member must wear the uniform so this is not a universal solution.

            A member of the clergy could make a similar judgment. There are times he must wear the collar. There are times he doesn’t have to do so. But he can’t simply respond to the threat by hiding at all times. The collar after all is a symbol of something which he publicly proclaims. He says this “something” is more important than his life. So he must stand in public for the sake of principle and make himself a target at times. He can’t avoid it.

            This is at the root of the response you have received. I won’t hide my faith at all times simply to save my life. The most important thing in this life is not the continuation of this life. Sometimes you have to take a public stand despite the risk.

      • magnolia

        Lots of human beings seem all up for paying off those who threaten. How many comedians will make Muslim jokes in the same way that Christians are seen as fair game. It often seems little has changed in that respect since danegeld.

        • The Explorer

          Danegeld is still with us. £484 million a year to Pakistan.

        • Dreadnaught

          Fair game? – more like Sitting Ducks.

    • dannybhoy

      I doubt that there is anything much you would consider dying for Sarky!

    • Dreadnaught

      It says so much for the appalling and craven Military and the Church, that they are prepared to cave in to appeasing Fifth Columnists in our midst than put the boot into our enemies where it hurts most.
      Our Nations leaders are gutless, clueless and completely outside the sphere of reality – no wonder US citizens are keen on repeating and holding aloft the content of the Second Amendment.

  • Dick Hughes

    “For God’s sake … don’t conceal the marks of your Christian faith”, is the central phrase. Furthermore, clergy in ‘mufti’ should be encouraged to wear the Arabic letter N (noon), symbolising ‘Nazarene’, and expressing solidarity with those Christians suffering cruel persecution in some Arab lands. I am not clergy, but I wear a ‘Noon’ lapel badge I obtained from the US.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Available from cuffs’n’collars in the UK.

      • Dick Hughes

        Brilliant – found under “lapel pins Arabic”. My own is gold on black.. #WeAreN

  • Inspector General

    Look chaps. The country is sliding to the right. That’s a good thing. We’ve had a dose of the new reality yesterday when it was warned the Church of England is on the way to fragmenting. Who’d have thought it even a few years ago, that the rank and file clergy would defy it’s rather aloof higher types and their sandals and ageing hippy ways…

    Anyway, this kind of headline is just the ticket! It’s somewhat awkward to be all equal when them that consider themselves Allah’s holy executioners see no reason to rein in their terror for the sake of socialism and rubbing alone with each other just nicely.

    Let there be a dead priest. Let him be targeted for his dog collar. And most of all, let him be a lefty of national prominence who earlier in time vociferously welcomed his executioners immigration with his cultural Marxist zeal….

    • Is Archbishop Cranmer okay with commenters on his blog cursing vicars?
      Good to know that someone wants my husband dead* – and the writer of this comment isn’t, I assume, Muslim.

      * though he’s not of national prominence so I guess he’d be let off the hook in this particular curse?

      • Uncle Brian

        If you need to ask, you must be new here.

      • sarky

        Don’t worry, if you read regularly you will realise that there is a village nr Gloucester with someone missing, if you catch my drift.

        • Inspector General

          Be off with you, lest you feel the full weight of a fellow’s boot up your anti Christian backside…

          • What you’ve posted is anti-Christian.

      • Inspector General

        Read the comment again, Madam! Read it again…If your husband fulfils the last of the criteria for worthy victim, then he deserves all that would come his way. And, incidentally, more fool you for marrying the blighter…

        • Dreadnaught

          Never had you as a cheerleader for Islamic violence. Not your best post.

          • Inspector General

            Let those who were complicit, or those around now who agree with what they did, in bringing Islamic doom to our nation be among the first to go…

      • Every community has its village idiot. Cranmer is no exception. We take it in turns here too.

        • magnolia

          Do we realize when it is our own turn? Or is it one of those things that just happens? Sometimes seems to me some take more than their share of turns….. What are your own subject specialities—-just so | know? 😉

          Should we have one of those johari windows? As in known to self and others, Known by others but not self, known to self but not others (presumably a private joke!), and scarily, not known to self or others, presumably awaiting the enlightenment of the Almighty!!

          • Good old Jo and Hari, Jack knows them well.

    • dannybhoy

      Our grand old nation is being challenged and shaken in its core institutions and values.
      This is no bad thing, even if Islam is the main driver of challenge and change.
      Eventually from among our political classes and establishment glitterati will emerge real leaders, who recognise the threat posed to our culture and rally us to the flag.
      The fearful and mealy mouthed will continue clinging to their policies of appeasement and capitulation, and a rift will open up between those who value our culture and history and those who pretend to be for the underdogs but are in truth more afraid of their fangs…

    • carl jacobs

      Let there be a dead priest.

      It being a given that people who love the idea of martyrs generally don’t want to be one. You have made some dumb comments in the past, Inspector, but this latest comment is truly unexcelled in its vapid brain-dead ignorance.

      • The Explorer

        I imagine that the Inspector has, at the back of his mind, the words of Caiaphas: “it is more expedient that one man should die for the people than that the whole nation should be destroyed.” (John’ 11:50). The death of a priest might provoke the same sort of outrage as the death of Drummer Rigby, and stir the nation in its somnolence.

        • Caiaphas was speaking prophetically whilst also advocating evil that good may come from it – radical pragmatism at its finest.

          The IG is wishing for evil too – the murder of an innocent person, preferably a left-wing progressive – so the country will continue what he sees as a positive slide to right-wing extremism.

          • The Explorer

            The first two sentences of the Inspector’s last paragraph are essentially the sentiments of Caiaphas. He then goes further.

          • Inspector General

            Interesting word that, ‘innocence’….

            …in as much as it is today attributed many times more to the actions of stupid adults than the new born for whom it is everything….

          • You want the Muslim extremists to be your private vigilantes metering out justice?

          • Inspector General

            Come on Jack – you can do better than sixth form line of reasoning…

          • It seems you never made it that far. Sweeping chimneys as a child perchance.

        • carl jacobs

          But that’s a reprehensible attitude.

          • The Explorer

            Quite. It was said by Caiaphas. It says do evil in order to achieve good. I didn’t say it was right

          • Isn’t it the core of consequentialist thinking?

        • Inspector General

          Several men, actually. And all of the Christian lite shade the church can well do without…

      • He’s not encouraging martyrdom for Christ. He wants a death so it will outrage public opinion and generate extremism. His attitude is not one of ignorance. If it were, it wouldn’t be so bad. It’s calculated.

        • carl jacobs

          I was using “martyrdom” in a more general sense. Confer with Kiss of the Spiderwoman …

          “The revolution needs martyrs. But not me!”

          I agree completely with your comment about calculation.

        • Inspector General

          “He want’s a death…”

          Does he now…

      • IanCad

        The Inspector needs no back-up from me. He is quite able to defend himself. But. really Carl, your comment is ridiculous.

        • carl jacobs

          Oh? Did I misunderstand? Did the Inspector not call for someone to be murdered by ISIS?

          • Inspector General

            Yes, you misunderstood. You misunderstood ‘big time’ as you American fellows would say. And you shouldn’t have misunderstood.

            So, what went wrong…

          • So explain ….

          • carl jacobs

            So, what went wrong…

            I don’t know. It’s your sentence.

          • Not so much calling for it, more seeing the advantages in it for his cause, and hoping it would be someone from the left.

          • IanCad

            Americans – bless ’em, say what they mean and usually do what they say. Not so over here. The British speak in a sort of code. They think differently and it is up to the listener to interpret their generalities.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack is a Brit. Jack saw what I saw.

          • Inspector General

            Ian gets an uptick for putting it so concisely. Jack is trying to act as Robin to your Batman. Or is it Stan to your Ollie..

      • Inspector General

        Good Evening Carl. Not one for taking a line out of context, are you. Any problems with your honest approach to the world, then do contact the Inspector who would only be to happy to supply the suspicious with an affidavit confirming the greatest of all your merits…

        • carl jacobs

          So then explain to me what I missed, because it seems pretty clear to me. I don’t see a line taken out of context even after multiple re-readings.

  • Uncle Brian

    With a single exception, all the Anglican clergy I’ve ever known personally – or known by sight, at least – were usually seen wearing an ordinary shirt, with or without a tie, when out shopping or otherwise not actively engaged in their Church duties.

  • James Bolivar DiGriz

    But we are repeatedly told that Islam is the religion of peace and that when (yet another) Muslim kills one (or often more) people than this was (yet another) lone extremist.

    So why would vicars need to be worried about an Islamist attack?

  • The Explorer

    It’s quite extraordinary how many Muslims misread their Scripture as inciting violence against the infidel. Individuals should clearly be banned from reading the Qur’an for themselves, and interpretation should be left to the experts.

    Unfortunately, even some of the experts are fooled in their turn into thinking violence is advocated. And a text that can be misunderstood by expert and amateur alike must have something contentious about it.

    But to the point. tt could be argued that C of E priests should be exempt from execution because they are people of the book. But those eligible for exemption must have applied for official dhimmi status As far as I am aware, the C of E has not yet done so.

    • Dominic Stockford

      The Koran is in fact quite clear about the need to dominate the infidel, and how tat should be done. I’m not sure why you think it isn’t. It is no religion of peace, not at all.

      • Irony …

        • carl jacobs

          Even Brits can’t follow these inscrutable British attempts at irony. My case grows stronger by the day…

      • The Explorer

        Irony.

  • Martin

    I’m not sure why a Christian minister should wear a dog collar anyway. Does the Bible command it?

    • Pinker

      Nowhere in the bible are you commanded to breathe oxygen. Why do you continue to do so?

      • Martin

        Pinky

        True, but where is the connection.

    • dannybhoy

      Besides the point Martin. In our nation clergy of all kinds have worn distinctive clothing and never been attacked for doing so.
      That’s the issue. Our country and our cultural history are under attack.
      Our MPs especially our female MPs are facing threats of violence.
      Our country is at war, but as yet we are unwilling to come out and say that we will not allow ourselves to be dictated to by a minority.

      • Martin

        Danny

        You see the difference is in the word ‘clergy’, there are no clergy in the New Testament churches.

        • dannybhoy

          Well there are actually, but that’s not the issue old chap. It’s about our nation and its history, freedoms and faith.
          Consider how many English, Scots, Welsh and Irish have died in defence of our nation over the centuries. How many of our immediate forbears died in ww2 to defaet the evils of Nazism.
          That’s what we’re talking about here Martin, our freedoms and values.

          • Martin

            Danny

            No, there are no clergy in the NT church, it is entirely an invention of those seeking power over the people. A great many died over the centuries opposing those, who are as evil as the followers of ISIS.

          • Old Nick

            And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

            There, I have taken the trouble to find it for you

          • Martin

            Nick

            As I’ve said above, they are indistinguishable from their fellow believers.

          • dannybhoy

            As Old Nick says, plus first Timothy chapter 3..
            ” Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full[a] respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)”

            Stay with the programme Martin, please.

          • Martin

            Danny

            They are part of the local congregation of God’s people, not a clergy set apart.

          • dannybhoy

            Yes I agree, but you’re ignoring the point under discussion. I know you hold to your particular convictions and I respect that, but that’s not what we’re discussing now.

          • Martin

            Danny

            My point is that those who separate themselves from the people, as do the imams of that heathen religion are acting in an evil way.

            As I mention above, there are better ways of making Christianity visible.

          • Nightblogger

            Clergy are still part of the congregation and remain part of the Laos, the whole people of God. That’s NT church and CofE.

          • Martin

            No, the clergy are not part of the laity, and such division is not found in the New Testament.

          • Uncle Brian

            Martin, my friend, try this proof in two steps.

            First step, Acts 6.3.—Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.

            There are two verbs in this sentence. The first verb is episkeptomai, here translated as “pick out” or, in some other translations, “select”. It’s what the full number of the disciples are being told to do. The second verb is kathistimi, meaning “to appoint”. Once the seven have been selected, the Twelve will then appoint them as deacons, by the laying on of hands. Until that happens, the seven will not yet have been appointed.

            Second step, Titus 1.5—This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you.

            Paul has directed Titus to appoint elders in every town in Crete. It is reasonable to suppose that the selection procedure will be conducted locally, but each man selected will not actually become an elder until Titus has obeyed Paul’s command. The verb that Paul uses in this verse, meaning “to appoint”, is kathistimi, the same verb used in Acts 6.3 to designate what the Twelve did. So here we have Titus, who is not an apostle, being set in authority over the local communities in all the towns in Crete, and being told to appoint the local elders, just as the Twelve appointed the seven deacons in Jerusalem.

          • ‘But you, do not be called, “Rabbi;” for One is your Leader, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant; and whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.’ (Matthew 23:8-12).
            What Martin said. There is no clergy in the Church of Jesus Christ.

          • Martin

            Brian

            I’m not sure what relevance this has.

        • Old Nick

          Ephesians 4, 11. Look it up yourself

          • Martin

            Nick

            No mention of clergy there, they are just believers, indistinguishable from other believers.

      • David

        Quite ! That’s the real point.

    • David

      The English Puritans said, prescriptively, that we can only do that which the Bible clearly says that we can so do. Most Christians over history have taken the view that one can do anything, unless it is expressly advised against or even prohibited. This is also the general approach of The English Common Law.
      Having said that I have no objection to ministers not wearing the collar, as it is their choice I believe. Context often guides their on/off choice I’d imagine.

      • Martin

        David

        I think the problem lies in thinking that minister is separate from the congregation, a heretical view.

        • magnolia

          Ah but a minister of the C of E who is wearing a dog collar may find he is being asked to minister to the person who has collapsed in the street, say. Although there may be times when as dog collar is not worn it does no harm for one to be seen in the street, the pub, the supermarket. It reminds people, and they get asked questions, about all sorts, and sometimes come upon pastoral situations, and when visiting in hospital sometimes relations of a dying person (never seen before) ask them to come and pray with him or her.

          There are pros and cons to recognition v. incognito and the full array is appropriate.

          • Martin

            Magnolia

            I’d say a first aider was more appropriate. If a person has paid God no attention during their life why would they pay God attention in their death?

            I was recently at Quarry Bank Mill with my family and noticed the family at an adjacent table all bow their heads to thank God for their food. Now that was an impressive witness.

          • magnolia

            Pass the mayonnaise beating Meet your Maker then.

            What would St Paul say?

          • Martin

            Magnolia

            The thief on the cross was saved at death’s door, but most aren’t.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I have never been questioned when visiting members of my congregation in hospital – and I do not wear a collar.

          • Cressida de Nova

            It is outrageous that you are allowed to visit sick people in the hospital in that medieval chain mail armour.Although I should imagine a lot of people would like to stick pins and needles into you so it does afford you protection.

        • Old Nick

          Who defines heresy ? Are you the Pope ?

          • Martin

            Nick

            Why the Bible does, and on that basis the pope is a heretic.

          • Old Nick

            Your reading of the Bible. Or do you think the rest of us do not read it. And do not tell me it is an open book – there is no such thing. Christ is the Word of God.

          • Martin

            Nick

            The plain reading of the Bible, not the reading approved by an authority.

    • Old Nick

      The Bible does not command you to go in the house rather than down the end of the garden, but most of us do.

      • Martin

        Nick

        Irrelevant.

        • Old Nick

          Sense of humour failure

          • Valentine’s Day Card:

            “Roses are red,
            Violets are blue
            Neither are necessary for me or for you”

          • Old Nick

            Roses are red
            Violets are blue:
            Please will you be
            My POSSL Q

          • Pubcrawler

            How very cis-binary of you!

          • Homophobe ….

          • Old Nick

            There is the PSSSL Q if you prefer

          • Equal sinning.

          • Pubcrawler

            Yeah, get with the Zeitgeist, daddy-o!

          • Cressida de Nova

            What does it mean?

          • Acronym for “person of opposite sex sharing living quarters.”

          • Old Nick

            Rosae non sunt multiplicandae praeter necessitatem

          • Are you permitted to use Latin?

          • Old Nick

            In Quires and places where they sing here followeth the anthem

          • Martin

            Nick

            It was supposed to be funny?

      • David Harkness

        Deuteronomy 23 v13 suggests that the garden, or at least outside, is the scriptural place to defecate, but being under grace, I don’t have a major problem with folks using indoor facilities.

        • Then Jack hopes you have indoor plumbing.

  • And if you want to walk down the street, hand in hand as ‘husband’ and ‘husband’, or as ‘wife’ and ‘wife’, then feel free to do so too. Shine you light. Spread your message.

    Wearing a Roman collar will not protect us from radical Islam. However, a strong and consistently lived faith that converts to Christ, just might.

    • Eustace

      Thus spake the Catholic who claims to love his fellow man, but whose joy at the prospect of seeing him beaten or killed if he’s gay is palpable.

      If there really is a devil, he’ll recognise one of his own in Jack. A Christian might praise the working of what he believes to be divine retribution once it’s actually happened, but he won’t actively encourage people to place themselves in danger. That would be a usurpation of God’s right to dispense justice as he sees fit.

      But Jack knows that. There is nothing of God in him and everything of Satan. Beware false prophets indeed.

      • PessimisticPurple

        By what authority do you ascribe such motives to Jack?

        • Old Nick

          Not only by what authority, but on what evidence ?

          • The Explorer

            Linus/Eustace is red hot on evidence when it comes to the existence of God, but never lets the absence of it bother him in his own disquisitions.

          • Pubcrawler

            He never knowingly misses an opportunity to miss the point if it means he can make his own.

          • Jack is tempted to look at the nonsense posted by Linus but has blocked him and it isn’t worth the effort. A narcissist needs a mirror to admire himself and a troll needs to be fed. It’s best to ignore him.

          • Cressida de Nova

            I have not read any of his dreary outpourings for a long time either, but judging from the comments he must be saying some awful things about you.. If the other communicants had enough discipline to adopt the same approach and just not read his rants…he would disappear.

          • Agreed. Did you know Disqus has the facility to block comments from particular individuals you don’t want to read? Imagine if everybody blocked him!

      • The Explorer

        I took Jack to be saying that if you make public display of your beliefs (and they’re at odds with Islam) you will be at greater risk from radical Islam than if you don’t. And the best way to deal with radical Islam is to turn Muslims into Christians.

        What’s devilish about that?

        • Eustace

          What’s devilish about Jack actively wishing violent death on a minority he openly despises, belittles and insults?

          I’ll leave you to figure that one out.

          Had Jack been Polish during the War, I suspect he might have been an active member of the National Democratic Party. Fiercely anti-German, but just as fiercely anti-Semitic. Hating the Nazis and wanting to sweep them from Polish territory, but nevertheless rather pleased that they’d “dealt with” the Jewish “problem” so that he didn’t have to. No blood on his hands, eh?

          It’s an ill Islamic wind that blows absolutely no good, especially for Christians looking to destroy the LGBT community, but not wanting to get their hands dirty in the process.

          • bluedog

            Ridiculous. Jack has Jewish ancestry, unless I’m mistaken.

      • dannybhoy

        He’s not advocating that. He’s pointing out that should radical Islam prevail then both clergy and gays will be at risk..

        • Eustace

          He’s actively encouraging us to put ourselves in the way of harm by recommending that we behave in ways that he condemns. His hope is that others who are not constrained by his religion will act on his behalf and do what he wants to do to us, but dares not for fear of offending his god.

          That’s Jack’s concept of divine mercy, you see. He should have lived in times when exacting retribution on behalf of God wasn’t forbidden. He’d have been in the front line at every stoning. He’d have carried damp wood to every burning to hurl on the fire so that it burned more slowly and prolonged the victim’s agony. The idea of divine justice isn’t enough for him. He wants retribution and he wants it now!

          • dannybhoy

            You surely jest Eustace.
            Jack has strong views, but he is not vindictive. More likely he just enjoys winding you up and you fall for it.

          • Eustace

            Jack is one of the most vindictive characters it’s ever been my misfortune to interact with.

            Like most Christians, he channels some of his vindictiveness into gory fantasies about how God will punish his enemies and send them to roast in hell for all time. But the sum total of hatred and anger boiling away inside Jack can’t be contained by pouring it into a tinpot idol that he knows is just a mask for his own subconscious. Some of it will inevitably leak out, otherwise he’d explode.

            Jack’s favourite target is the LGBT community, probably because like most elderly bigots he assumes that society still condemns homosexuality, so everyone must be on his side. That’s how bullies work. They only attack those who they feel are easy targets.

            Somebody should tell him that times have changed and that the LGBT community is no longer the soft target it once was. Of course on this wretched little site the crowd is fully behind Jack and happily joins in the gay bashing, just as it loves to bash Muslims and atheists and anyone else who won’t knuckle under and obey its every whim. That’s the essence of modern conservative Christianity. It’s where bullies go to commiserate with each other over their impotence and irrelevance in a world that has left them and their primitive death cult far behind.

            Perhaps when you look at it from the perspective of one vindictive bigot, another vindictive bigot doesn’t look so very bad. But that’s the problem with perspective: what you think is normal and acceptable looks extreme and unacceptable to someone else.

          • dannybhoy

            “Like most Christians, he channels some of his vindictiveness into gory fantasies about how God will punish his enemies and send them to roast in hell for all time.”
            Eustace do you actually read any other comments on this blog?
            No one talks like this. Some of us have differences or doubts about what hell will be like, and those who speak out most strongly against homosexuality are those who find the life style and behaviour abhorrent.
            That doesn’t mean they are closet gays or anything else, just that they accept the Biblical prohibitions and probably really do find the life style unpleasant -as do many non Christian heterosexuals.

          • Eustace

            I find the heterosexual lifestyle deeply unpleasant, but I don’t preach against it and demand that God condemn all straights to hell.

            What I do attack is the kind of narcissistic self-regard that sees many straights look down on everyone else as inferior and broken.

            What could be more unpleasant and abhorrent than a self-satisfied Christian bigot who, in order to aggrandize himself, must belittle everyone else?

          • dannybhoy

            God finds all men guilty -all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
            That is the basis on which God judges and condemns, because we are sinners. Sin expresses itself in all kinds of ways. Adultery, Homosexuality and Murder are but examples.
            Your problem is not that you are homosexual but that like me you are a sinner; and until you make your peace with God on that basis, you remain under condemnation.
            Unfortunately too much is made of homosexuality et al in Christian circles. It actually detracts from the central message of the Gospel which is that all men are sinners and need salvation in Christ Jesus.

          • Eustace

            Your problem is that you believe there’s such a thing as sin in the first place.

            Sin was invented as a concept by religions like Christianity in order to subject human behaviour to the approval or disapproval of their imaginary gods. It’s a way of exercising social control by threatening those who behave in ways you disapprove of with eternal punishment.

            Human behaviour has nothing to do with an imaginary god. We are social animals and our behaviour is conditioned by the groups to which we belong. Behaviours that favour personal and group well-being are encouraged by the group. Behaviours that harm are discouraged. Our moral reaction to what we think of as good and bad is the intelligent equivalent of the instinctive behaviours that characterise non-sentient animals.

            Lying and cheating are not sins. They’re merely behaviours that society stigmatizes because they harm other individuals and social cohesion. We feel bad about lying and cheating because that’s how we have to feel in order to survive together as intelligent members of close-knit social groups.

            Homosexuality does not harm either the individual or society, at least no more so than heterosexuality, which has killed and maimed many millions if not billions of straight individuals throughout history (childbirth and pregnancy being leading causes of female mortality and morbidity).

            Gay couples can prosper together and the fact of them doing so causes no more harm to themselves, to anyone else and to society than is caused by straight couples.

            Therefore not only is it impossible to condemn homosexuality as a sin (given that there’s no such thing) but it also cannot be condemned as harmful to the individual or the group.

            So no, we are not all sinners. Nobody sins. Most of us will engage in harmful behaviours from time to time, but this does not include homosexuality.

            The truly harmful behaviour is homophobic bigotry. It targets an innocent group, which weakens society as a whole. Social ostracision and even, in extreme cases, punishment of homophobes is therefore entirely justifiable. You hurt us all when you attack, belittle and condemn gays, and as the causing of harm must be discouraged, such behaviour must be disapproved of and punished when necessary.

          • dannybhoy

            “Your problem is that you believe there’s such a thing as sin in the first place.”
            It’s not a problem Eustace, it’s a reality.
            “21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”

            I agree with your analysis…”We are social animals and our behaviour is conditioned”
            I have thought that for a long time. We are indeed tribal with animal needs and urges. But we are also more than that, and the reason why we’re more than just animals goes back to Origins and Creation. The big debate about why there is anything and why it appears to be ordered and there are laws, etc. etc.
            I could never accept that the Cosmos just ‘is’. It had to have come from somewhere, and I totally accept the idea that God is self existent, He is outside of time itself, and He created this world as he says He did.
            I find it wonderful that the revealed character of God is Holy and Compassionate, and that He wants us to share eternity with Him.
            I am absolutely sold on the goodness of God, and His righteousness. There has to be an Ultimate Authority in life, and for me that Is God. Not because I am afraid of death or Hell, but because He gives meaning to our lives.

          • dannybhoy

            I forgot to add that as we both agree that man is sociable and tribal, then we also agree that in order for a society to work, there must be a code of conduct.
            You can have all kinds, but what kind gives the greatest degree of personal freedom of expression whilst protecting the weak, the vulnerable and the underdog?

      • David

        That misinterpretation of what Jack meant illustrates the danger of reading unpleasant meanings into innocent statements. It is also incredibly sad.

        • Eustace

          I agree that Jack’s attitude is sad, but I have misinterpreted nothing. He has a history of homophobic outbursts and would love to see us punished us for daring to disobey him.

          The narcissistic self-worship of the man is quite staggering to behold. Didn’t you know that as a Catholic husband and father, he believes himself to be the apex and perfect role model for all mankind? In Jack’s estimation, we should all aspire to be like Jack, because Jack is just like God. If we don’t share that opinion, we’re evil and must be punished.

          Of course Jack’s problem is that his faith prevents him from punishing us directly because that would be a usurpation of God’s right to dispense justice. Hence his glee at the prospect of an Islamic terrorist doing his dirty work for him. Why else would he egg us on to behave in ways that might cause violent reactions from others?

          • David

            Dear me. Perhaps you always deliberately misunderstand plain English. Jack isn’t sad.

  • The Explorer

    Drummer Rigby was attacked in the street, but I imagine that a vicar is probably safer from attack in the street than he/she would be if alone in a church (the other thing vicars have been warned not to do).

    if vicars have been warned not to wear dog collars in public, have they been given similar advice about not wearing them if alone in church? Can they wear them for a service: that, after all, is displaying themselves in public.

    • dannybhoy

      It surely cannot belong before the CofE’s official leadership declares against Israel, and blames it for all the woes in the Western world.

    • Dominic Stockford

      The irony is that an Islamic attack on a minister is highly unlikely to take place in an empty church – because they want as many witnesses as possible for their actions.

      Trooper Rigby wasn’t even in uniform, by the way.

      • The Explorer

        He was wearing a Help for Heroes shirt. To an Islamist, that’s as bad as wearing a uniform.

        • Mike Stallard

          I lived in Sierra Leone before the troubles.
          Islam, Christianity?
          No this is sheer barbarism. Like in the jungle at Calais.

          • The Explorer

            The words to the public were, “Tell your government to stop killing my people.” Those are the words of one who believed himself to be involved in a war and who had dealt with an enemy soldier.

  • David

    Advising priests and ministers not to announce their vocation, by removing their clerical collars, is truly a most regrettable sign of the times. However I was even more shocked when the services were told not to wear their uniforms in public, as after all unlike the majority of clergy, service personnel are by the nature of their job overwhelmingly fit, strong and young, and mainly, men.
    It all proves that Islam is simply incompatible with their our society, a point of view in which I am becoming increasingly confirmed as the all too often terrible violent attack continue. Unlike my diocesan bishop, I don’t buy the line that most Muslims are peaceful so let’s get things in perspective. Yes most do not attack us, but that is no comforter; because I don’t see this peaceful majority marching against the violent minority nor do I see theologies of non-violence being preached by them. In fact I am deafened by their silence. So the non-violent majority are irrelevant, as the agenda is being set for them, and us, by their murderous brethren. So in terms of practical effects there is only one Islam.
    Although a liberal (classical sense) and tolerant person I believe that, in the face of such provocation, and the clearly expressed intentions to subdue, we should adopt a policy of zero tolerance. Appeasement and compromise will be the road to subjugation, or alternatively, eventually large scale violence.

    • Albert

      Just by way of clarification, when you say: I believe that, in the face of such provocation, and the clearly expressed intentions to subdue, we should adopt a policy of zero tolerance what is it that you think we should not tolerate? Is it Muslims?

      • David

        The Islamisation of society.

        • Albert

          That certainly needs to resisted, yes.

  • magnolia

    When I passed the glad tidings of this headline on to local clergy the response began with a b…. i shall not enlarge upon this. I doubt that it’s this diocese who said something so silly.

    • Bernard from Bucks

      I expect he had doubts regarding their parentage?

      • magnolia

        Nothing ad hominem but I really will say nothing further!!

  • magnolia

    This is the security adviser to the C of E according to “The Telegraph”. It is all part of a “don’t fear not” and “take care- lots and lots of it” health and safety culture, that urges clergy to be “streetwise”. Picking up on one of those places Jesus failed, clearly.

    Of course the gospel is deeply counter-cultural to this sort of stuff, and Jesus said almost exactly the opposite repeatedly. Being safe is nowhere seen as a primary focus in the NT at all. Being obedient and not fearing is. That is why the church grew.

    • dannybhoy

      You are spot on bringing our Lord into the discussion.
      ‘Perfect love casts out all fear.’
      Just imagine the outcome had the present day leadership of the CofE been counselling the early Christians in Rome…

      • Coniston

        Indeed: “We must adopt the beliefs and morality of the surrounding culture, otherwise we will be left behind by history.”

    • David

      I liked your dogs as protection scenario !

  • Albert

    Oh dear. Are clergy being advised not to cross the road for fear of being run over? That they shouldn’t go to garden parties for fear of dying of a bee sting? That they shouldn’t take afternoon tea with their parishioners in their homes for fear of being attacked? That they shouldn’t use incense for fear of being hit by the thurible? That they shouldn’t drink communion wine for fear of the dangers of alcohol? It doesn’t seem to me that we have reached the point where this level of fear is justified.

    When I was in the CofE, it seemed to me that the biggest threat to the clergy was ill-health through over-work and the machinations of beastly parishioners. It’s not Muslims they need to worry about, but the Mothers’ Union.*

    Life involves risk – if we stay in bed for fear of falling down the stairs, then we run the risk of dying of inactivity. The only way to avoid risk is to be dead.

    * I apologise to the Mothers’ Union for this comment – I picked on them purely for the alliteration, not because I see them as a particular problem!

    • sarky

      Do you wear a seatbelt in the car?
      Would you wear a parachute if you jumped out of a plane?
      Yes there are risks, but if these risks can be mitigated, isn’t it wise to?

      • Albert

        These are extreme risks which can be mitigated with little inconvenience. Where risks are low and mitigation would be costly, then we don’t mitigate the risk. So you can’t build an argument here by saying “We mitigate risk X by precaution Y” therefore we should always take any precaution to mitigate any risk. That would be totally irrational, and would easily be falsified by arguments of the opposite type “You don’t mitigate risk X (a low risk) by precaution Y (a costly or inconvenient precaution),” therefore you shouldn’t mitigate any risk by any precaution. After all, if your argument made any sense, you wouldn’t be in a car and you certainly wouldn’t jump out of a plane.

        I think you just like any idea that makes Christianity less visible.

        • sarky

          No. I like any idea that keeps people safe.

          • Albert

            Like never driving a car, or never going on a plane, or never walking upstairs, or going out, or using a bicycle.

            Risk management is about management, it only becomes about prevention when:

            (i) The risk is very high and cannot be mitigated.
            (ii) There is an ideological reason to oppose an activity.

          • Mike Stallard

            Ours is a religion which relishes risk – and danger. We often prate on about the crucifixion and a life of self sacrifice and martyrdom.
            Shame we are now reduced to hiding in the vicarage.

          • magnolia

            Indeed he who loses his life will find it. Being wet and wimpy didn’t cut it in the early church, nor should it now. If leaders realized this fully we would only have the courageous daring to go forward, which would solve a lot of problems…….a lot. No more this is me fulfilling a side of myself nonsense. Less gossip.

            Who would even want to be a Vicar let alone a Bishop if there was a strong likelihood of following in the steps of the first disciples?

          • Albert

            Shame we are now reduced to hiding in the vicarage.

            Happily, I don’t think any clergy will be doing that (at least, not on these grounds!).

      • Dreadnaught

        Why don’t we all go round in niqabs or burqas just to be on the safe side? – over my dead body; but feel free yourself!

        • sarky

          That’s not what I’m saying is it?
          What’s wrong with taking precautions if you’re deemed at risk?

          • Dreadnaught

            By issuing instructions like this the Church is saying its vicars are not safe in their own country. Instead they should be doing more to fight back by pressing Government for severe restrictions on in-yer-face Islamic dress etc, instead of discarding its own National Church’s clerical garb . The line must be drawn – let it be now.
            Anyway a cunning jihadi will know the best place to find a vicar or priest is in a church, on a Sunday.

          • dannybhoy

            Well put Dredders.

          • Albert

            It’s not what you’re saying, and Dreadnaught knows that. It is however the logically conclusion of your argument – and Dreadnaught knows that too.

        • Albert

          That’s a superb reductio!

  • Dreadnaught

    What can you expect when Boss Christians are in denial/ignorance of the basic tenets of Islam. I wouldn’t be surprised if these two scumbags didn’t make the suggestion themselves and in the best possible spirit of helpfulness, of course.

    Shaykh Muhammad Naqib ur Rehman was in the UK for a tour of city mosques. He was here with Hassan Haseeb ur Rehman, and a meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury is obviously a good idea, if only to discuss Islamic-Christian interfaith relations and the best way of countering the narrative of extremism and terrorism. And the Shaykh is a decent kind of bloke:..but – read on.

    http://www.virtueonline.org/why-it-great-welcome-muslim-hate-preachers-lambeth-palace

    • David

      Yes because “Boss Christians” are more influenced by being part of the liberal-left establishment than they are of being Christian. There is a general problem of denial of reality with almost ALL of the establishment.

  • carl jacobs

    Can you imagine the reaction if intelligence said “Women who dress provocatively will be targeted for rape by ISIS. Women are advised to dress accordingly. By which we mean women should wear burkhas.” Oh, that would go over well. But then we would know who is expected to hide and who deserves public support and protection.

    • Uncle Brian

      Exactly so.

      • Mike Stallard

        And now women wearing a dog collar are dressing provocatively…

    • Dominic Stockford

      This is exactly what is being said to women in mainland Europe – Sweden and Germany have both had this said by various people at various times. Nuts.

  • Albert

    It seems to me that one of the things that raises the risk of terrorism is everyone going on about it. If you’re a nutcase, and you keep hearing that churches are vulnerable and under threat, then you don’t need to use any imagination to go and attack one. If it hadn’t occurred to you to stab a priest, it has now.

    So we have a situation of a very small risk being made a bit larger by everyone’s fear.

    • That’s the very nature of terror ….

      • Albert

        Which is what they want. Bonkers.

        • …. because it radicalises even more followers.

          • Mike Stallard

            The church is active – we go out and look, search, inspect, help. It is a risky business. It demands courage.

            As soon as we look inwards and look after our fat little selves, we start to die.

    • Dick Hughes

      Good to see you use the Arabic letter N (noon) as avatar to proclaim your Christian faith.

      • Albert

        Thank you – although some people have thought my use of Arabic means I’m a Muslim (especially when I am defending law abiding Muslims from suggestions of arbitrary treatment).

  • The vicar in his dog collar is part of British culture and we are in a culture war with Islam and the liberal secularists who would also love to snuff out anything Christian here. A black Labrador or two might be helpful companions for every vicarage.

    • Old Nick

      Most Labradors I know would simply show the secularist where the vicar kept the petty cash.

      • Oh dear! well maybe a couple of German Shepherds then.

        • Old Nick

          That should do it…..

          • Dominic Stockford

            How’s about a doberman? Even better?

          • Old Nick

            Vicious in my experience. Would they be allowed to wear dog collars ?

    • Mike Stallard

      This sexist comment is unacceptable.
      Or her dog collar, please.

      • Little Black Censored

        She was using the term inclusively.

      • No, female clergy are man made and therefore are invalid.

  • IanCad

    There could be another dimension to this in the form of – or should I say – terror of the H&SE – issuing a diktat that indeed, vicars, pastors, ministers, and other leaders, deacons, etc, of the Christian persuasion should not declare their fidelity to their faith as it would possibly, quite possibly, lead to an endangerment of the person concerned.

  • David

    The deeper point here is this. We have had decades of being told two things by the establishment and their media acolytes.
    Firstly that multiculturalism, diversity and all the rest of the package that issues out of Cultural Marxism is wonderful and THE thing, to not only transition to, but celebrate.
    Secondly and specifically, that Islam is a religion of peace. Even if a tiny, weeny minority are more radical, most are just nice, peaceful types. So nothing to fear there then either. Move along please.
    But the reality is that some of our most basic ways of life, that we have held as totally normal in these islands, indeed in the whole of western Europe, if not the west altogether, is under direct, physical attack of the most crude and bloody form.
    Surely even the most naive liberal or starry eyed socialist “idealist” must now be beginning to realise that such stark differences of belief and culture, certainly as exists between Islam and the west, are utterly incompatible ?
    In short war has been declared against us all, whether we identify with our Judaeo-Christian heritage, or indeed are the most atheistic secularist ? So the main question that arises now, is when will our most uncomprehending establishment, drunk and blinded by drinking deep draughts from cultural relativism, ever going to admit that there is a war ensuing ?
    Or perhaps they will have to be forced to see this truth by more and more people using the democratic mechanism to vote into power politicians that do live in the real world, and are concerned with protecting us physically as well as defending and upholding the values of the west ?

  • Orwell Ian

    Give terrorism a bit more time to fester and they will be warning us to remove our noticeboards and take all crosses down from church buildings. They must be rendered anonymous otherwise the Islamists – who will of course still be absolutely nothing to do with Islam – might identify them as targets for rocket propelled vandalism. All in the interests of our security and safety of course. What other agenda could a culturally Marxist so-called liberal democracy possibly have?

    • michaelkx

      When Constantine died the next emperor of the roman empire was a hater of Christians,
      he thought the best way to kill the Christian church was to marginalise it. The
      haters of the Christian church are still trying it. Marginalise the church and
      it will wither and die. They are scared of the church and the Lord it is
      following. ( or should be)

      • Old Nick

        That is simply not true. Constantius II comes in for a lot of stick from the likes of S. Athanasius, but he was a devout Christian in his Homoean way. His eventual successor Julian the Apostate did indeed repudiate the Christian faith in which Constantius had insisted he be brought up, but he lasted less than two years and all emperors from then on professed the Christian faith. The best recent study of Constantius II is that of T.D. Barnes Athanasius and Constantius (Harvard UP, 1993).

        • “he was a devout Christian in his Homoean way.”

          A contradictory statement, surely? Saint Athanasius devoted his life to fighting Arianism.

          • Old Nick

            Athanasius smeared Homoeans by calling them Arians – he was a most ingenious controverisalist. A great deal of serious work has been done on the theological preoccupations of the 4th century in the past generation, the best of it actually by Rowan Williams (“Arius: Heresy and Tradition”). The difference put simply is that Arius thought of the Second Person as of a similar substance (homoiousios) to the First Person of the Trinity but inferior to Him. Arius was anathematized at Nicaea, and his formulations did not persist. However discussion did not stop and the Homoeans were an influential element in it (and had the backing of Constantius II). Homoeans thought the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity similar (homoios) to the First Person but did not want to go into the details – except that they did, running round to councils in ever -decreasing circles for an entire generation. They firmly believed in One God and in the Person of Christ, they were not (as michaelkx stated) “haters of the Christian church”. I do not agree with them. The Homoean Christ is not fit to worship, being something less than Almighty God; Christ must, as Nicaea and Athanasius asserted be homoousius – of the same substance as the Father. But it would be as unwise as it would be uncharitable to dismiss Homoeans as enemies of the Cross of Christ.

          • He wasn’t a Trinitarian Christian as he thought Christ was of a similar substance to God, not the same substance. I won’t judge him, his motives, or his heresy.That’s for God. However, neither will I make him someone worthy of respect. Like all heresies, parts of scripture appear to support them. Its devotees may believe they were/are following their consciences and scriptural revelation as they understood it. As Vatican II stated: “Error has no rights, since rights are a claim given ultimately by God.”

            The reason I’m a Catholic is that I believe the Church was founded by Christ, her Head and that He remains with her. He has given her authority until He returns and, based on His word, she is guided by God in the development of doctrine and cannot err.

          • Old Nick

            I agree with you, naturally, about the Catholic bit. And I see poor old Constantius II through the spectacles of an historian. His father had left him in some ways a pretty damnosa hereditas with a load of unresolved questions and a lot of very opinionated bishops. It was the theological graft of the Cappadocian Fathers which made possible the resolution of these questions at the First Council of Constantinople in 381. An element of confusion before that is only to have been expected, when even the Bishop of Rome signed up for the wrong side at one stage in the mid-4th century. Frankly, these questions (though important to get right) were of minuscule significance compared to the process by which all through the 4th century pagans (who had in living memory being feeding Christians to lions) were being won to Christ. If we knew more about the latter process and less about the Arian controversy (presented blow-by-blow by Athanasius and the 5th century Church historians) I would not be the only historian who would be grateful.

  • chefofsinners

    Let us all start wearing dog collars.
    #jesuisclergy

  • Dominic Stockford

    If they want to get me they would just wander into a Sunday service and get me, it is fairly obvious who the minister is at that moment.

    • dannybhoy

      In that case they might feel rather sorry for you!
      ;0)

      • Dominic Stockford

        I don’t see why – I’m obvious as I’m the one up front preaching.

        • dannybhoy

          Ah. I thought perhaps you were referring to a lack of congregation.
          My apologies.

  • Libertê Harries

    The above states “national faith”…. What national faith?

    • dannybhoy

      Christianity (Protestant variety) being the faith which has shaped our culture, and the Church of England being the officially recognised denomination of which our monarch is the Supreme Governor. It is the Anglican Church which officiates at all occasions of State.

      • Old Nick

        You mean Christianity (Catholic and Reformed), I think.

        • Pubcrawler

          The Coronation Oath says: “Protestant Reformed Religion Established by Law”. But it’s a big tent with many booths…

          http://www.legislation.gov.uk/aep/WillandMar/1/6/contents

          • Old Nick

            The Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed says “One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church” (unless you have one of those Prayer Books with the misprint in it). But as William Temple said, I believe in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, but I am blessed if I can find it…..

          • Hmm … but do you have valid Apostolic succession now that your ordinations are “absolutely null and utterly void.”

          • Old Nick

            Quite apart from the Nag’s Head stuff being historically bogus, Leo XIII was writing before the Dutch Touch. What is much more worrying is the introduction of women bishops into the Succession. I do not know how my children will have sacramental assurance: Ultima Cumaei venit jam carminis aetas.

          • Do you interview all priests and establish they have been ordained according to Roman rite by a successor of Peter?

            As for the Cumaean prophecy:

            “Ne quis vos seducat ullo modo: quoniam nisi venerit discessio primum, et revelatus fuerit homo peccati filius perditionis.”

          • Old Nick

            Thanks for the encouraging quotation ! Actually the Society (formerly The Society of Ss. Wilfrid and Hilda) does maintain a register of priests ordained by (male) bishops. I do not find the actual C of E rite in any way defective. And of course many in the Early Church applied the ‘Petrine texts’ to all bishops, not only the Bishop of Rome though generations of ‘proof-texting’ scholarship might make you aware only of the thoughts on this topic of Leo I.

          • You’ll know the history and whys and wherefores better than Jack but the process behind Apostolicae Curae was very thorough and open. In the end, the principle conclusion was that Anglican ordinations were deficient in intention.

            Here’s a short article which covers the essential points.

            http://www.catholic.com/encyclopedia/apostolicae-curae

            Come home ….
            The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham offer wonderful services – more traditionally Catholic than the New Catholic Mass – based on Anglican liturgy and the Common Prayer Book.

        • dannybhoy

          Catholic, Reformed, Protestant and non Conformist!

      • “Christianity (Protestant variety) being the faith which has shaped our culture … “

        Yep. Contraception, abortion, divorce and remarriage, homosexual ‘marriage’ … Lot to be proud of.

        • Old Nick

          You forget how the bishops fought fiercely against “liberalising” divorce law against the likes of A.P. Herbert all through the 20th century:
          http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/o/o112.html
          TEC has not won yet.

          • They started the moral decline at the Lambeth Conference in 1930 and then compounded it at Synod in 1983. Divorce and homosexual marriage were bound to follow. They lost sight of the basic Christian principle: Do no evil that good may come of it and abandoned 2000 years of Apostolic tradition.

          • Modernism won it first major victory at the Lambeth Conference in 1930. It was decisive. The rest is just mopping up pockets of resistance.

        • Cressida de Nova

          Be fair Jack they never had a chance…what with all the promiscuity and murders of their founder.

  • Pubcrawler

    Completely OT: Anyone heard from CliveM lately? Last heard of (to my knowledge) chez Hannah saying he was ‘driving around Birmingham’. Now I know Spaghetti Junction is a labyrinth best negotiated with the aid of a local guide, but that was over a week ago…

    • dannybhoy

      I was wondering the same thing this morning. He is still working so perhaps he’s busy -or taking a break…

    • IanCad

      Well, it’s still the summer, so he’s probably on holiday.
      His Disqus account is private so we can’t tell when he last commented.
      I do hope all s well with him.

  • Mike Stallard

    Our Church – locked. Well, it might get burgled. Safety first! And then there is the insurance!
    Our Vicar – never see her. Well, ladies do not walk the streets or hang about waiting for people.
    Our Curate – assaulted when locking up the Parish Church. Luckily a man came along and saved her.
    My mum – dying – asked for the sacrament. Vicar did not do house calls. She had other business.

    As a Catholic, I can say that most priests do not wear the dog collar any more anyway.

    • This is absolutely shocking, no wonder it’s dying out!

    • Cressida de Nova

      No wonder you converted….it must seem just like home.

  • Pete Broadbent

    I have encouraged all my clergy, even those who don’t habitually wear dog collars, to wear them as often as possible and as publicly as possible.

    • Martin

      Pete

      The problem, tho, is that so many members of your fellow clergy within the Anglican church clearly do not believe the Bible that this little piece of sacramentalism has no relevance.

      • preacher

        Hey Martin, if the wearing of a ‘dog collar’ separates the Shepherds from the hirelings, shouldn’t we applaud Pete’s instructions to his fellow clergy ?.

        • Martin

          Preacher

          Does it?

          • preacher

            Yes ! it shows who is committed to the Lord enough to stand up & be counted, as opposed to those who just want a job & the wage that goes with it. The Shepherd protects & defends the Sheep, but the hireling runs or shrinks into obscurity when the wolf, lion or bear appear.

          • Martin

            Preacher

            There are plenty of Christian ministers who don’t wear fancy dress and who are indistinguishable from the fellow members of the congregation. You don’t protect the sheep by wearing a collar but by preaching the whole counsel of God.

          • preacher

            I believe Pete Broadbent’s original posting had to do with wearing the symbol in public as a sign of the wearers faith, the ‘Dog collar’ is just a universally accepted symbol of a Christian minister, part of a uniform if you like. I personally don’t put any special significance to it as I believe that all believers are as the scripture says Kings & priests. But I wear a Cross openly, when I am speaking or preaching, ( Actually I never remove it at all ) as it is a symbol of who & what I believe in.
            It seems to work well & has led to many conversations & some fruitful seed sowing.
            Many people wear crosses as items of jewellery, but even then one can enquire if it has any significance to the wearer more than just a decoration, you’d be surprised at how many have received them from Mothers or Grandmothers who they will tell you were loving committed Christians, which leads to more chances to talk about the relevance of the gospel.

          • Martin

            Preacher

            Actually the dog collar isn’t a universally accepted symbol of a Christian minister & I would not wear a cross.

      • “fellow clergy” ….. you misogynist, sexist, patriarch.

        • Martin

          HJ

          Pardon? I used the word he used.

          • You should know better.

          • Martin

            HJ

            Better than what? You really are making no sense.

            I do find it amusing that these bishops are so weak in their opinions that they never reply.

    • dannybhoy

      No one wants any individual to become a target, and this is where the body of Christ comes in. As a congregation we must accept our faith obligates us to stand together in support. In this sense Martin is right, the clergy are a part of the body and need to know the congregation is with them.

    • chefofsinners

      And I have encouraged all my tarts to continue to wear fishnets and suspenders.
      The party must go on!

      • Now, now …..

        • Cressida de Nova

          Response is too timid.and Protestant I expect something a little more Catholic!

          • Shall Jack anathematise him? As the author of the much missed “Lienus” he deserves some leeway.

          • chefofsinners

            Thank you, Jack, but I think an anthem would be going too far.

          • any chance of a future cameo appearances?

      • Pubcrawler

        I fear my invitation must have gone astray in the post…

        • chefofsinners

          One less tart won’t matter.

          • Pubcrawler

            You don’t know what you’re missing…

          • What’s your hourly rate?

          • Pubcrawler

            Free to those who can afford it, very expensive to those who can’t.

          • chefofsinners

            Ignorance is bliss, they say. On this occasion they are spot-on.

    • chefofsinners

      And I have encouraged all my tarts to continue to wear fishnets and suspenders.
      The party must go on!

    • Cressida de Nova

      Good for you. That is the Christian message.

      • Dominic Stockford

        No it isn’t. The Christian message is of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

  • preacher

    What sort of God do we serve if we shrink back at the first hint of trouble ? doesn’t scripture teach us that if we do so the Lord has no pleasure in that person ? If we are filled with the Holy Spirit as all believers need to be, we have not received a Spirit of fear, but of power & love & of a sound mind, ( 2 Tim 1. 7 -12 ).
    I speak with men of all faiths & none, with the intention of introducing them to the Lord who saves all who come to Him. What does He save them from & to ? Is it true that He has conquered death & Hell ? Yes ! Will the message be accepted if the man who delivers it is afraid of dying ? No !.
    All of us will one day leave our mortal bodies, Fact ! What comes next ? we as the followers of the risen Lord believe His promises of eternal life for those that truly repent of their sins & accept Him as Lord & saviour.
    Those who choose to reject Him will still die.
    A weak & shaky faith based on human philosophy has no power, nor has liberal theology, dressed up like the Donkey in the Lion’s skin in Lewis’s ‘The Last Battle’.
    In times of threat & fear the brave & committed rise to the occasion no matter what the personal cost. ” The coward dies a thousand times – The brave man only once “.

  • saintmark

    And Street Pastors must surely be prevented from going out on the streets, they’re clearly a vunerable target

  • Anton

    The problem is twofold: the presence in this country of terrorists drawn from a community whom treasonous politicians have invited in; and ordination, which separates laymen and clergy (as symbolised by the dog collar) even though the New Testament states that all believers are priests.

  • Vinaigrette Girl

    Remember, this is the Mirror, and the diocese isn’t identified. I’d be very careful about giving this any credence but I also hope the ABC follows up and asks bishops to consider their duty of care and words of advice more sensibly – *if* this advice was actually given in those terms.

    • chefofsinners

      Great name. My mind conjures an image of a bishop singing ‘Non, je ne vinaigrette rien’

      • Anton

        Don’t be so sour.

        • dannybhoy

          Is that a chip on his shoulder?

        • chefofsinners

          It is the polite response when one is offered salad dressing in France. ‘Non…

  • Uncle Brian

    Now vicars are being advised to protect their congregations by having a bouncer on duty at all services:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/30/churches-need-bouncers-and-cctv-says-counter-terror-advice/

    The advice comes from Nick Tolson of National Churchwatch, the same security expert who was apparently the first to come up with the dog collar danger warning, ten years ago:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1565395/Vicars-urged-to-drop-risky-dog-collars.html

    • Orwell Ian

      I would rather be a doorkeeper bouncer in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. (Psalm 84:10 Post modern version)

      • David

        Would a postmodern bouncer be capable of giving unwanted guests the heave ho ?
        I suspect that, faced with ‘trouble” they’d suddenly remember that, as no moral system is uppermost, their role to prevent murder should first be examined using Critical Theory.

        • Uncle Brian

          He will also have to weigh the pros and cons of crime prevention on the one hand and “community cohesion” on the other.

          • David

            Quite ! By which time he’d be dead as well.

          • dannybhoy

            I include this little clip for two reasons. One. it’s a great punch and two it reaffirms my respect for muscular Christianity -Catholic style…..
            http://freedomoutpost.com/muslim-harasses-group-of-praying-catholics-praying-gets-knocked-out-with-one-punch/
            Interesting article underneath too about Christian response…

          • Uncle Brian

            The fist of Samson meets the jawbone of an ass.

          • dannybhoy

            Evidently the guy had been harassing them despite repeated requests to stop. These guys have no respect for Christians and their prayers.
            This is something the Aof C and many other appeasers have yet to grasp..

          • Uncle Brian

            Yes, the guy with the fist had been casting glances in his direction for quite a time. But do we know for certain he was a Muslim? I suspect he may have been a Calvinist reproaching the Catholics for worshipping a graven image of the Virgin Mary (offscreen) and reciting repetitive prayers with the aid of their unBiblical rosaries.

          • sarky

            Was it Carl ‘glass jaw’ Jacobs?

          • carl jacobs

            Glass jaw? I think you are confusing me with someone else.

          • Smack him, Carl.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Carl would get someone else to do that.

          • **chuckle*

          • carl jacobs

            Always nice to know you have my back, Jack.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Diddums !

          • dannybhoy

            i must admit I did wonder whether it was a Protestant set up to expose Catholic aggression masquerading as piety..

          • Old Nick

            Like Kensit, you mean

          • dannybhoy

            Not know Kensit.

          • Old Nick

            I should have thought Kensit was one of your heroes – a leading amateur enforcer of the Public Worship Regulation Act. I find him about as palatable as the Hunt “Saboteurs”, but each to his own.

          • dannybhoy

            I tell you, this man I know not.

          • Old Nick

            I take no offence. I am sorry if I sound plangent.

          • dannybhoy

            I know not plangent.
            Sorry is more than enough.
            You cannot convey nuance through the internet..

          • Old Nick

            We can certainly agree about nuance and the Interwebs !

          • Pubcrawler

            And other written material…

          • Cressida de Nova

            There is no such thing as Catholic aggression. It is called bravery.

          • Dominic Stockford

            It is utterly contrary to the words of Jesus. But then that never seems to worry Roman churchers.

          • “Roman churchers” What an odd expression. Jack doesn’t think Cressida is Italian.

            It doesn’t appear to bother too many protestants either. Read though the comments.

          • Dominic Stockford

            you haven’t read my comment accurately have you. Misquoting people isn’t good form, old bean.

          • I quoted your term “Roman churches”. The rest was piss-taking. Not too good at comprehension, are you.

          • Dominic Stockford

            As I said, you misquoted me, and you’ve done it again. Very bad form indeed.

          • Amended.
            The point remains.

          • dannybhoy

            I think aggression has been exercised by the Catholic Church during its long history, but let’s not get into that…
            I think this group are showing commitment to their faith and love for their country, and it contrasts sharply with the policies of appeasement displayed by other Christian groups.

          • carl jacobs

            [cough] Paul Touvier [cough]

          • Cressida de Nova

            Not every Catholic is perfect. It just seems like that.

          • David

            Muscular Christianity – yes that’s the thing. The Christian was much smaller than the other one too – it’s the degree of aggression that counts.

          • carl jacobs

            In the US we would call that “Battery”. Words cannot ever legitimately provoke an assault. If the man had been killed – and he could have been killed – the attacker would have been charged with Manslaughter. This is neither a good nor a Christian way to respond.

          • Cressida de Nova

            No one elected you as spokesperson for Christianity .

          • Dominic Stockford

            You are quite right – and as for the comment below, what you say is merely what Jesus taught us.

          • carl jacobs

            That’s just Cressida. It’s a matter of mind over matter. I don’t mind because she doesn’t matter to me. 😉

          • Cressida de Nova

            Gasp…you’re flirting with me again !

          • dannybhoy

            Obviously I disagree.
            They are Catholics, they are patriots and the man had been provoking them for some time. As the article underneath the clip says.
            “Nobody would disagree that, in an ideal case, it would be best to try and convert or ignore the Muslim. But that is idealistic and, many times, not realistic, especially in a situation like this.”
            This is about the rise of Islam in France, and in case you hadn’t noticed a lot of French people have been killed recently by terrorists -Muslim terrorists.
            Know your enemy Carl. If your enemy suspects you of being weak he will walk all over you. There’s a time for handwringing and there’s a time for standing up for what you hold dear.
            That’s what Christian nations have to do. That’s what they did at the Battle of Tours, and in fighting Hitler.
            If you seriously believe we should all turn the other cheek, we will end up getting the same treatment as our brothers and sisters in Pakistan or Syria or Egypt.

          • dannybhoy

            ps.
            “In the US we would call that “Battery”.
            What part of the US? There are plenty of good red blooded American Christians who would see that as standing up for what they hold dear.

          • carl jacobs

            What part of the US?

            The part with laws, and police officers and judges. I don’t know about France. In the US, that man would have been arrested for that assault. Watch the video, and pretend you don’t know the context. There was no apparent provocation for the attack. I see one man coldcock another man.

            And you think this is justified? Read Matthew 5-6 and explain to me how.

          • dannybhoy

            Luke 3:14 allows military service
            John the Baptist did not tell the soldiers to leave the military when they asked him what it meant to repent: “And some soldiers were questioning him, saying, ‘And what about us, what shall we do?’ And he said to them, ‘Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages'” (Luke 3:14).

            “Matthew 8>

            The Faith of a Centurion
            5 When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, 6 “Lord, my servant is lying paralysed at home, suffering terribly.” 7 And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” 8 But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go’, and he goes, and to another, ‘Come’, and he comes, and to my servant,[a] ‘Do this’, and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he marvelled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel[b] have I found such faith.
            No mention of the fact he is a soldier and a conqueror and occupier,
            Deuteronomy 1:8
            “See, I have set the land before you. Go in and take possession of the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their offspring after them.”

            God gave the land to the Israelites, but they had to go in and fight for it.

            As I look at the treatment of Christians in Muslim countries I see them in subjugation, not allowed to witness, not allowed to rebuild their churches; I see them being abused, raped, violated and horribly tortured.
            God has not stepped in and stopped it. Neither has the Christian Church in the West stepped in and demanded we protect them or offer them sanctuary.
            We stand by and watch and do the old hand wringing thing..
            Sorry old bean, but when Jesus talked about turning the other cheek he was talking to individuals who might become disciples. WE must turn the other cheek. But what is happening now is that our nations and our faith is under attack.
            Unless Christians show that they are prepared to fight, that they know how to fight, that ancient art of hand wringing will get them nowhere. If those who would dominate and abuse you have no understanding of turning the other cheek, it will mean nothing to them.

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, and that violence is committed under the cover of lawful authority. There is no lawful authority for a private citizen to attack someone like that. He could have killed the man. All the victim had to do was hit his head on the sidewalk in just the right way. What kind of testimony is this?

    • Bouncers on the doors is a practical idea, not wearing the dog collar would be just running scared and does nothing for the morale of the clergy.

    • Dominic Stockford

      I visited the Richmond Synagogue last November. They have a system whereby someone is on a gate, and won’t let you in unless you are personally known, or are on a list and have ID.

      Sounds good, but is bad. While Sunday services are most certainly NOT primarily for evangelisation, if unknown people cannot join us then how can they hear the Gospel preached, and see the response of the faithful to it? (1 Corinthians 14). Our Biblical mandate is not to hide away, but to take up our cross. I am in no way saying that possible martyrdom, with great pain associated, is something I want, but it is something that as a Christian I should not be frightened of.

      • dannybhoy

        ‘Sounds good, but is bad.’
        Of course it’s good!
        I attended a day long conference in London last year. They had security, they checked that I had registered, they searched my stuff before I went in, and I minded not one jot.
        Jews are under attack in this country. They are being singled out because their attackers know that we Christians won’t do anything. We won’t even join the Jews in a demonstration. So they have to fend themselves.
        Let’s wait Domini,c until there’s a horrific attack on a church like happened in France, and then see how congregations react.
        Look around the world at the many attacks on Christians and churches. It will come here. As long as we keep turning the other cheek It will only be a matter of time…

        • Dominic Stockford

          And of course, the chap who said ‘turn the other cheek’ didn’t have a clue what he was saying, or did he?

          • dannybhoy

            John 2>
            “13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. 15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
            That’s righteous anger Dominic.

          • Pubcrawler

            And when he said “if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one”?

  • Revd Robert West

    Yes, I think that we should continue to wear our clerical collars, as this says what we are and does more good than bad. However we need to do more open-air preaching and more open-air gospelling too; as this achieves what we are down here for – to preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations.